Cold ironing

Connecting ships to the onshore power supply and shutt down the gensets in order to decrease exhaust emissions and noise. Cold ironing was adopted for many decades in naval bases where ships may be docked for long periods.

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Cold ironing for commercial vessels was launched in Los Angeles in 2004 when China Shipping’s container ships were plugged into a dedicated port barge floating close to the berth. The barge housed all the necessary equipment for the shore connection, including the high voltage and low voltage cable management system, transformer and switchgear. A more sophisticated shoreside power programme was initiated the next year with the Japanese operator NYK, which commissioned the first ship with an integrated onboard electrical system to facilitate cold ironing. NYK ATLAS was the first vessel able to plug directly into the wharf without using a barge link. Emissions saving from the ship are said to amount to 31 tonnes of NOx and 1.4 tonnes of particulate matter.

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